Winter Break Ideas for International Students in New England

Winter in New England is a special time of year. Many people live in the New England because they love to experience all four seasons, and winter is not one to be missed!

If you’re an international student hanging around for the holidays, this article will show you some great winter break ideas for international students! Christmas time in the North East is magical. Snowy days, great food, and special events make it all the more worthwhile. 

Don’t know how to spend your Christmas break yet? In this article, we are going to discover unique events to keep you in the holiday spirit, and to help you experience winter in New England the right way.

So gather your friends, load up your car, and check out these awesome winter events going on all around New England!


1. Christmas in Newport | Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island is a popular tourist destination in the summer time, but there’s plenty to do over Christmas break as well!

Each year Newport holds events almost daily throughout December for Christmas in Newport, a month long community holiday celebration.

What can you expect? Well to name a few..

  • On December 26th, you can attend the “Holiday Traditions Open House”. During this event, you can get to know cultures unlike your own and experience winter holidays at the 9 different houses of worship.
  • Different walking tours will guide you through the history of Colonial Newport, and teach you about the celebrations of the past, as well as the evolution of this popular town over time. You can jump on these tours from December 29th-31st, but make sure to check out the website first to reserve your spot!

How to get there: I-95 and I-90 will lead you directly to Newport, Rhode Island.


Winter break ideas for international students

2. Holiday Light Fantasia | Hartford, Connecticut

If your favorite part of the holiday season is Christmas lights and cheer, then this spectacle should be on your list of must dos over winter break!

A two-mile driving course through festive scenes is sure to brighten up the darkest night. This is a perfect activity to do with friends on a free night between Christmas and New Years. You’ll have enough time to take a leisurely drive through the lights, and make a full night of it afterwards!

If you’re feeling hungry, head south on I-91 for the best pizza in the northeast. The Italian section of New Haven holds some of the oldest pizza joints in the nation. While you’re there, check out some more lights in New Haven for more Christmas fantasy fun!

How to get there: You can easily access these spectacular scenes driving on Route I-91, I-84, or the Wilbur Cross Parkway, CT US Route 15.


3. Outdoor Sports at Northwoods Outfitters | Greenville, Maine

If you’re feeling more like the Grinch this year and have had enough of the holiday cheer, head up to scenic Maine to try typical winter sports for New England snowy days!

winter break ideas for international students

Let the professionals show you how it’s done on guided snowshoeing and snowmobiling tours. And perhaps the most unique to Northwoods: Ice Fishing

Learn what the big deal is about this winter sport, and get in touch with the winter landscape while you’re at it. You might even recognize your dinner from earlier that day.


This is a great trip to plan with adventurous friends for bonding, learning, and connecting with nature while you’re on your winter holiday break. Just make sure you don’t forget to pack your warmest gear!

How to get there: If you drive on I-95 or I-93, you can get to this unique adventure spot in no time! Just watch out for moose along the way.


4. Holiday Shopping | Brattleboro, Vermont

If winter sports aren’t you’re thing but you don’t mind spending some time in the chilly air, then head to Brattleboro, Vermont for shopping. You’ll find unique gifts to send home, and probably something to treat yourself as well!

The highlights of this historic town include four small bookstores, but you can also find vintage shops, artisan goods, and vendors of winter sporting equipment.

This is the perfect destination if you want to explore an unlikely town with friends, and get a true New England feel. There’s great food and lodging in the area, so you won’t go hungry. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also find hiking nearby!

How to get there: A little off the beaten path, you can make it here by way of I-91 and some local routes. The drive is half the fun!


5. Skiing | Vermont

It’s no coincidence that the majority of New England’s best ski slopes are in Vermont.

Winter break ideas for international students

Skiing is a true New England pastime, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a born and raised Northeasterner who hasn’t at least attempted the sport. Whether you’re a true beginner or feel like a pro, you’ll quickly fall in love with the powder-covered mountains, and breathtaking views.

Gather a group of friends and rent a space at a local lodge, and you’ll forget all of your school stresses as you sip hot 

cocoa after a long day on the trails.

How to get there: Most mountains will be accessible by route I-91. When choosing a lodge, make sure you look for one that includes free parking!

Winter break ideas for international students

New England has a lot to offer year round, but the holidays are a particularly special time of year. To make the most of

 your winter break, heading outside of the major cities will give you a more authentic taste of what it’s like to be a New Englander, and help you leave the hustle and bustle of big city life aside for a little while. We hope you learned about some fun winter break ideas for international students staying in New England for the holidays! 


Winter roads can be slippery, so make sure you have the best car for the conditions, and drive carefully and according to the laws of the state that you’re in.

Most importantly, enjoy this special time with friends! The destinations are amazing, but memories are made along the way too.

So, school is out, you are on Christmas break, and the roads are endless. Where will they take you this break?



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